Determination to see an airport built at Knock despite the end of state financial support.

Work continues at Knock Airport project even though government funding has dried up. The project is now relying on private donations for completion.

It's the sheer size and audacity of the project that most people find absolutely mind-boggling.

To date, over ten million pounds of tax payers money has been spent on the project. Over a mile of tarmac runway has been laid and five hundred acres of land flattened. Despite the fact that the government has said it will not be contributing any further funds to the project, construction is still in full swing. The remaining works are being funded by voluntary contributions.

The driving force behind the project, Monsignor James Horan, defends the project from criticism and is optimistic that it will be completed.

It's the biggest thing that happened in Connacht for the last hundred years.

James Donoghue of the Fundraising Committee envisages that once complete, the airport will attract industrial development to the area which will be a great source of employment for County Mayo.

Construction has been going on for three years and the building site itself has become a tourist attraction. People from as far afield as Australia have visited the site.

Probably the most amazing thing of all about this very amazing project is the way in which money to complete the government abandoned airport is now rolling in.

When the government told the company that it would not be providing further funds towards the project, an appeal was launched through An Post to raise the three million pounds required to complete the job. Every day, more and more donations are arriving at the airport office in Knock but the fundraising committee is not willing to say exactly how much has been donated. Monsignor Horan is extremely pleased with donations to date.

It could be anything from a pound to ten thousand.

A team of about twenty volunteers have been working flat out on fundraising events over the last month. The campaign to raise money towards the completion of the airport has even extended to the United States. One of the volunteers, Mrs Donoghue outlines plans being made across the US to raise funds.

Jim Ryan, Secretary of Connaught Regional Airport Company, is optimistic that the airport will be ready for use by 1985.

It will work. It will do business. And it will be successful.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 September 1984. The reporter is Jim Fahy.